Jose Mourinho thinks Tottenham had “the gods of football” on their side during their 3-2 Champions League victory over Ajax on Wednesday night.
Spurs looked to be heading out at the semi-final stage at the hands of Ajax as they trailed 3-0 on aggregate – 2-0 on the night – at half-time of the second leg in Amsterdam.
But Lucas Moura stepped into the limelight with three goals, clinching his hat-trick and an away-goals win for his side in the dying seconds of stoppage time.
When asked if Ajax should have changed their philosophy when they went 3-0 up on aggregate, Mourinho told beIN Sports: “For me, yes.
“For me, the philosophy is what makes a team grow up in a direction.
“Every team grows up, you need that base, you need that philosophy, you need that style of play adapted to the quality of the players.
“Ajax deserve all the credit for that and all the admiration of people like us who love football, and we give them the credit they deserve.
“But football is a sporting battle and in battles you need strategy.
“And to win matches, especially special matches, for special matches you need sometimes not to be tied to your philosophy.
“Sometimes you even need to go against your philosophy to win a football match
“And I think if Ajax, in the second half, hide their weaknesses better, but everybody knows their weaknesses, they have to cope with that.
“We saw many example in their attacking situations, we had other situations where Blind and De Ligt were outside.
“The basic thing you do when you have an advantage is keep your balance all the time – never unbalanced.
“The balance starts exactly with the defensive line in position then after that a certain number of players always behind the ball line.
“But they stuck with their philosophy, they played the game in the second half like they were playing Vitesse in the Dutch league.
“They played like it was a group phase game, or one more game in their own league.
“And I think in this moment they don’t believe what happened to them.
“Tottenham changed, they used very, very well direct football, they were lucky, they had the gods of football with them, but they chased that luck.”